How Do I Know If I Have a Thyroid problem?
You’ve probably heard of the many symptoms associated with poor thyroid function and wonder if you do actually have a thyroid problem. However, you’ve been to the GP to discuss this idea of yours and your results come back ‘normal’ and ‘in-range’.
What’s so important about the thyroid anyway?
Well, the thyroid is the master gland for controlling metabolism in the body, which is pretty important. Metabolism is a chemical process that happens in the body’s cells; it converts the food you consume into energy. As you can see, you need thyroid hormone in every cell of the body, it is essential for life.
You can think of the thyroid being like thermostat, so if you turn the thermostat down you will have lower amounts of energy as well as these other possible hypothyroid symptoms;
-poor recovery from exercise
-prone to infections
-slowing down of metabolic rate of the systems in your body
Similarly, if you turn the thermostat up you may experience hyperthyroidism symptoms;
What about the GP’s tests?
GPs will almost always test TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) in general blood work to investigate thyroid health. This isn’t the best indicator for a few reasons; the pituitary produces TSH so it’s not actually giving you information about the thyroid. It can take many years for TSH to elevate so by the time the GP’s find that it is too high it is a long road back to recovery. Also, the GP’s lab range is a large range so again once you are outside this you could almost be in a diseased state once found. They may also test T4 which is the non active thyroid hormone and not the best indicator without other markers.
Ideally, we want to test the following markers to understand the whole picture with our thyroid health;
Thyroid antibodies (TG)
Only a functional medical practitioner will test these vital markers which will show if there is thyroid diseases such as; an underactive or overactive thyroid, Hashimotos or Graves disease.
To assure optimal thyroid health and healing we want to do the following things;
· Always get to the root cause of the thyroid issue
· Follow an anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense diet
· Optimise gut health
· Eliminate any infections
· Properly manage stress
· Address adrenal function
· Eliminate gluten and dairy
· Reduce and eliminate toxins to de-stress liver and detoxification systems.
If you are still experiencing thyroid symptoms even though your results came back ‘normal’, you need to do further investigation.